Monday, November 30, 2015

12 DOC: Welcome & Carrying to Birth


The third annual 12 Days of Christmas begins tomorrow <3.

My hope is that you’ll find comfort in knowing you are not alone, support from other families who are also walking this path, and healing by learning ways to include your beautiful baby in your holiday.

Please remember to be extra gentle with yourself as you face the holidays without your baby. Only do what feels right to you and nothing more. It’s your baby who died, your grief, and only YOU can decide how to heal. It’s perfectly acceptable to “skip” the holidays and simply survive, to throw yourself into creating new traditions, or anything in between (it may change from hour to hour). You know in your heart what you need to do; trust yourself. 

If you would like to connect with other baby/childloss families for this series, please join our private group.

Each day, for the next twelve days, we’ll be sharing a post from a loss family. She will share how she's handled the holidays since the loss of their baby. We will also have ideas for ways you can honor your baby this Christmas, special giveaways, and ideas for how to survive.

Together, we will remember our beautiful children and find hope and healing during this very hard time of year.

See you tomorrow!
~ ~ ~

 **The following section is specifically for families who are currently carrying a baby 
who has been diagnosed with a fatal condition** 

Since All That Love Can Do was created to help families who continue pregnancy after a fatal diagnosis,  it's important to me to share some ideas for making the most of your time during the holidays.

It was four years ago that I was carrying our son, Samuel, who had been very recently diagnosed with a randomly-occurring and fatal condition called PUV. I was trying to keep it together as all my hopes and dreams for our son were slipping through my fingers. I gathered up all of my courage and did my best to make the most of his only Christmas with us. It was a very challenging time for us. We took it one day at a time and that’s what I always recommend for anyone facing the loss of their baby. (Sometimes, it’s just one moment at a time.) You can read our story here.

Please know how deeply sorry I am that you have to face the loss of your loved and wanted baby. I know how hard it is. I know how emotional it is. I know how much it hurts. But I also know you can do this. You have this time to make the most of, and every day your baby is alive is another chance to fill them up with your love. Remind yourself this is the one chance you have to make it special. Give yourself breaks to cry and release your feelings, then try again when you’re ready. Protect your heart by only surrounding yourself with those people who are supportive and encouraging. Do what you feel you’d like to do and nothing more.

Depending on how far along you are, and your baby’s condition, baby may be able to hear, taste, and see, despite being tucked inside. You can still do some of the things you wanted to do in the future with baby, just in a different way than you had planned.

Here are some ways to make your baby’s Christmas a special one:

Read a special Christmas story to baby
Watch a holiday movie as a family (baby can listen along)
Make Christmas cookies and enjoy a few with baby
Listen to Christmas music
Go to a Christmas concert
Donate toys in your baby’s name
Visit family and friends and let them talk to baby
Decorate the tree together and tell baby all about it
Drive around to look at Christmas lights and tell baby all about it
Buy yourself some warm holiday slippers (when mama’s comfy, mama’s relaxed and so is baby)
Light some holiday scented candles
Buy baby a special stocking and/or ornament
Have a 3D ultrasound done and use the images as your holiday card
Begin a journal of your time together and write a letter to your baby

These are just some of the ways you can make the most of your time at Christmas. Do what feels right to you and know that you are a brave and beautiful mama, and you are doing an amazing thing.

If you would like to get support from other mother’s who have carried their babies with a fatal condition, you can join our private online support group*. There is no need to face this alone.

My greatest hope is that you will be able to make some very special memories with your baby to last you a lifetime.

with Samuel in my heart, 

RaeAnne

*Every person who asks to join the group will be sent an private message on FB. Please note: it may go to your “other” inbox. You will only be added to the group once you respond to the email. For the protection of the privacy of the group members, only mothers who continue pregnancy after a fatal diagnosis will be approved to join.

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